Boston, Mass., featherweight Rob Font (right) delivers the knockout blow against Tristan Johnson in the opening round of their main event bout Friday at "CES MMA XXIII" at Twin River Casino. Font has now won nine consecutive bouts. (Photo courtesy of Kelly MacDonald)
By Michael Parente
LINCOLN, R.I. (April 25th, 2014) – It seemed as though no one would be able to top Luis Felix’s electrifying knockout of UFC vet Drew Fickett at Twin River Casino last month.
Rob Font was up to the task.
In the clear-cut Knockout of the Night, Font put veteran featherweight Tristan Johnson to sleep with an overhand right at the two-minute, 48-secod mark of the opening round Friday in the main event of “CES MMA XXIII.”
With Johnson backpedaling toward the cage, Font (10-1, 3 KOs) reached in with a left and then followed with a right that caught Johnson (8-5) flush on the temple. Johnson was out the second he hit the canvas, prompting referee Kevin MacDonald to stop the bout before Font could do any additional damage.
Font, the reigning CES MMA featherweight champion now fighting out of Boston, has won nine consecutive fights since his lone loss in 2012. His knockout win in the main event was the second for CES in the last two months; in March, Felix put an exclamation point on “CES MMA XXII” with a head kick that knocked Fickett cold.
In what was billed as a potential Fight of the Night candidate when the card was first announced, veteran bantamweight Tateki Matsuda (9-5) of Boston (Tokyo, Japan) snapped a two-fight losing streak with a 29-28, 30-27, 30-26 unanimous decision win over the previously unbeaten Matt Doherty (3-1) of Salem, Mass.
The cagey Matsuda, who had lost each of his last two fights by split decision, took control with his dominant ground game in the second and third rounds, even earning a 10-8 round on one of the judge’s scorecards. Always versatile, Matsuda let his hands go in the third to soften up Doherty, and then took him to the canvas and ran out the rest of the clock with effective ground-and-pound.
Exciting welterweight prospect Eric Spicely (4-0) of Olneyville, R.I., remained unbeaten with an impressive, textbook win over David Jordan (1-3) of Las Vegas, submitting Jordan via guillotine at the 1:35 mark of the opening round, while Wareham, Mass., veteran Matthew Thompson (19-9) used the same hold to submit Eric Bedard (6-5) of East Providence, R.I., at the 2:04 mark of the second round in a scheduled three-round cruiserweight bout. Thompson worked his way back from a poor opening round and caught Bedard with his neck exposed while Bedard tried to take him to the canvas. Thompson now has 10 wins by submission.
Middleweight Brandon Chagnon (5-4) opened the card with a second-round submission win over the always-competitive Ralph Johnson (6-11) of Worcester, Mass., who took the fight on short notice. Johnson, a hard-hitting, 6-foot-5 striker, dominated the opening round by using his reach to keep Chagnon at the end of his jab, but once Chagnon got Johnson to the canvas, he made quick work of his opponent, submitting Johnson via rear-naked choke at the 1:26 mark.
Fighting for the first time in more than a year, Norwich, Conn., featherweight Peter Rogers Jr. (1-1) earned his first career win, submitting Franklin Isabel (4-7) of Chelsea, Mass., who tapped due to strikes 2:39 into the opening round. Rogers, who lost his pro debut in 2012, caught Isabel with a left kick to the midsection, sending Isabel to the canvas. As Rogers went in for the ground-and-pound, Isabel quickly tapped, handing Rogers Jr. his first win.
Bellator vet Rico DiSciullo (2-0) bounced back from a point-deduction in the opening round of his bantamweight bout against Jordan Espinosa (3-3) to earn a 29-26, 29-27, 29-26 unanimous decision win. DiSciullo lost a point for kneeing his grounded opponent, but dominated the final two rounds, rebounding from a no contest in his previous bout (also due to kneeing a grounded opponent).
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